Guitar

Aaron Lowen

  • Studio Nine Musical Director.
  • Teaches guitar and piano.
  • Available Thursday evenings.
  • Available online or in person.

Adam Hwang

  • Has been teaching since 2010.
  • With Studio Nine since 2012.
  • Teaches guitar and drums.
  • Available Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings.
  • Available online or in person.

Adams primary instruments are guitar and drums, although he does play piano and bass guitar. He has received his bachelor’s degree and started teaching music in 2010. Adam has chosen to be a music teacher because he enjoys it and feels good about the work he does. He believes students will achieve their goals if they stay open minded and work hard. Adam hopes that all of his students gain more confidence, have fun and develop a love for music while working with him.

Ben Tizzard

  • With Studio Nine since 2018.
  • Teaches guitar.
  • Available Thursday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Ben is currently studying at Ambrose University, in his last semester of his Bachelor of Music degree. He is specializing in jazz guitar, but enjoys playing a variety of styles from rock to blues to pop. Conveniently, his experience with jazz allows him to play virtually any style necessary, including styles not invented yet. At some point he may consider going back for a Masters in Performance.

Ben started playing when he was 13. He began professionally when he was 19. He’s played at the Jubilee Auditorium, Mount Royal University, Drumheller Badlands Amphitheatre, Ironwood Stage and Grill, and various other clubs and venues around town.

He has been with Studio Nine for 3 years. He is a creative and dedicated member of our team, and we’re happy to have him on board!

Chris Carnduff

  • With Studio Nine since 2015.
  • Teaches guitar and bass.
  • Available Saturday mornings.
  • Available online only at this time.

Chris has been playing guitar for over 17 years, and has been teaching with us since 2015. Jazz and rock were his first musical loves, which led to 5 years of gigging with local bands.

Chris is currently working on a Bachelor of Arts in History, and will be graduating in 2020. While in his undergraduate programs, he has pursued music history and theory training.

An avid opera fan, he is currently working on one of his own with some friends.

Connor Wilson

  • Has been teaching since 2014.
  • With Studio Nine since 2014.
  • Teaches guitar and ukulele.
  • Available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in person.
  • Available Tuesday online.

Connor has been playing guitar for over 15 years.  After several years of practice, he spent 3 years studying jazz under instructors such as Keith Smith. In 2014, Connor successfully completed his Grade 6 Classical Guitar exam with honours with the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is currently studying Classical Guitar under Ralph Maier at the University of Calgary.

Connor joined Studio Nine School of Music in 2014 as his first formal teaching position. He has quickly proven to be a great instructor to students of all ages and levels. In his lessons he aims to ensure students have a firm grasp not only on guitar, but on the fundamentals of musicianship such as sight reading and scales, in addition to tablature and chord structures. His classical training has taught him to pay special attention to technique such as fingering, hand posture and body posture – he assures that these values are passed on to his students throughout their lessons.

Connor can prepare students for Royal Conservatory of Music guitar exams up to a grade 6, and is currently accepting private students for contemporary and classical guitar studies.

David Dallas

  • Has been teaching since 2018.
  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches guitar, piano, and ukulele.
  • Available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

David Dallas has been playing guitar for over 16 years, and has been steadily building a name for himself as one of the top up-and-coming guitarists in Alberta. David completed his music degree in 2018 for MacEwan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Performance with Distinction after studying with the likes of Jim Head, Tom Van Seters, and Chandelle Rimmer. A native Calgarian, David has spent most of his music career playing in the city he grew up in, as well as the provinces’ capital. He has experience studying and teaching a multitude of genres for guitar, including rock, jazz, blues, country, classical, and folk. David also teaches introductory to intermediate piano. David has also taught drums, and is passionate about teaching music theory in his lessons, as well as ear training. David’s teaching philosophy begins with the appreciation of music in general, with an emphasis on listening to music to understand how music works at its fundamental level. An understanding of time, rhythm, melody, and harmony becomes essential as the student progresses with their learning. Another one of David’s core beliefs with teaching music is the ability to understand the underlying structure of a song as you are listening to it, and how theoretical concepts, such as scales, work with a practical application. The number one goal David has while teaching music, however, is to instruct the student to be able to play all the music they love to listen to, as well as expanding their music library by exposing them to artists they may never have listened to before. In addition to teaching, David is also a seasoned performer. He has also performed in a variety of clubs, bars, and festivals around Alberta and in British Columbia.

Kurtis Downs

  • With Studio Nine since 2006*.
  • Teaches guitar, mandolin, and ukulele.
  • Available Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
  • Available online only at this time.

Kurtis holds a Diploma in music, with a specialty in jazz from Mount Royal University and has been with Studio Nine for over 9 years. He is a performance and recording artist who plays with his band “The Firm Handshake,” as well as a variety of other groups.

Kurtis enjoys teaching students of all skill levels and hopes that sharing his knowledge will aid not only in student’s progress, but also in developing a love of all styles of music. Kurtis is very popular with his students; he discovers the type of music they like, then finds songs appropriate to their level to maintain interest and encourage practice. Kurtis’s experience and love of music has made him an integral part of the Studio Nine team.

His musical repertoire spans blues, rock, jazz, easy listening and classical.

Mike Crosby

  • With Studio Nine since 2010.
  • Teaches guitar, piano, and voice.
  • Available Monday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Mike has been teaching piano, guitar, and voice with Studio Nine since the fall of 2010. He began playing music at the age of 6, and has been playing for over 25 years. While he only teaches three instruments, he can also play trumpet, trombone, euphonium, bass guitar, and drums. Mike studied voice at the University of Alberta, and has a Diploma in Radio Broadcasting from SAIT. While in university he played with a rock cover band called Stash, and together they toured Alberta. He also had the opportunity to sing Mozart’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall.

Mike is a warm, and versatile musician, and would be an excellent choice for students of all ages and skill levels.

Vernon Wills

  • With Studio Nine since 2009.
  • Teaches guitar, bass, and banjo.
  • Available Tuesday and Thursday in person.
  • Available Monday and Wednesday online.

Vernon has been a musician for more years than he likes to admit! As both a recording and gigging artist, Vernon’s skills span several genres and mediums as featured in his work on the Juno Awards as both performer and writer, his work running international master-classes, as well as his work in TV and movie production. He recently performed on the main stage at the Calgary Blues Festival.

Vernon is passionate about all elements of music production including writing, playing, teaching and recording.  He has owned and run his own recording studio and is currently working out of a recording studio in his own home. Check out his work on his website, http://vernonwills.com/

As an enthusiastic motivator of his students, Vernon sees their potential and encourages them in their playing.  He gets excited when a student catches the music bug and helps them grow steadily into musicians with confidence.

Rock, blues, jazz, country and classical are some of the genres Vernon enjoys teaching, and he is our most advanced guitar teacher. He also teaches bass guitar, banjo, and slide guitar.

Ken Murdoch

  • Has been teaching since 2001.
  • With Studio Nine since 2006.*
  • Teaches drums and guitar.
  • Available Monday and Tuesday.
  • Available online or in person.

Ken has over 23 years of performance experience in a variety of genres. He was a band member of ‘Trio Romanza’ and has performed as a drummer/guitarist/singer with rock bands such as ‘Left Sun’ and ‘Electric Kool-Aid’ as well as occasionally moonlighting with popular Calgary cover bands such as ‘Groove Demons’ and ‘The Raynmen’. As a player Ken is most known for being a founding member of Calgary based indie metal/progressive rock band ‘Outlaws of Ravenhurst,’ as well as being a former member of popular Calgary indie rock group ‘Crystal Eyes’. He has appeared on multiple records and has played hundreds of live shows showcasing his talents as an all round musician. Ken also works as an experienced freelance recording engineer, producer, and session musician, mainly working with solo artists and bands as well as doing commercial work.

As an experienced music teacher with almost 19 years teaching experience, Ken enjoys the interaction with students that allows both student and teacher to learn, grow, and develop as musicians. Ken tries to instill his love of music in his students to help them

 to reach their full potential. In lessons, he uses popular music as educational tools. Classic and modern Rock repertoire are a favorite of his as they teach students current and classic rock and pop songs, encouraging them to practice their skills at home. Not

 just limited to rock/pop music, he is also an experienced jazz drummer and classical percussionist, and often will incorporate these styles into his teaching. Ken also likes to accompany students at recitals and concerts. This helps them feel less nervous and allows them to learn to play with another instrument, which assists their rhythm and listening skills.

Kaitlyn Southgate

  • With Studio Nine since 2009.
  • Teaches piano and guitar.
  • Available Monday and Sunday.
  • Available online or in person.

Kaitlyn Southgate is a pianist, guitarist, vocalist, and Music Therapist originally from Okotoks. She fell in love with music at a young age listening to her grandmother play the organ and teaching her bits of music here and there. Her formal music training began with classical piano and soon expanded to include guitar and other instruments, exploring music of all genres! This love of music brought her to study Music Therapy at Acadia University, where she continued to develop her musical skills and learn of the incredible impact music can have on our lives.

Kaitlyn loves teaching students with a variety of musical experience and is happy teaching music of all genres – classical, pop, punk, the list goes on!

Katrina Jordan

  • Has been with Studio Nine since 2012.
  • Teaches piano and guitar.
  • Available Thursday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Katrina began her piano studies with Music for Young Children (MYC). After graduating from the MYC program she continued with private studies, working her way through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has completed her grade 8 RCM piano examination with First Class Honours and is currently working towards her grade 9 and her Harmony and History examinations. Katrina holds certificates in theory including Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Rudiments.

Katrina has played in and accompanied for several school bands, and has also competed in the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, playing in the Yaminda Classical Guitar Quartet, where she received a first place award.

Katrina is an enthusiastic and caring teacher who uses positive reinforcement to encourage and aid in the development of her students. She enjoys working with all age groups and is particularly good with younger children. Katrina uses games as educational tools for learning music and music theory, creating a fun environment. She loves teaching classical and popular music styles, and also enjoys composing music while encouraging students to explore their own musical creativity.

Piano

Connie Claeys

  • Has been teaching for over 40 years.
  • With Studio Nine since 2015.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Monday-Saturday.
  • Available online or in person.

Connie started playing piano by ear, and now has forty years of experience teaching students of all ages. She has completed both an ARCT, and a Bachelor of Music degree in School Music at the University of Calgary. She has taught Music for Young Children, as well as the Safari Kindergarten Piano summer camps at Studio Nine. 

Connie enjoys teaching students of all ages and can arrange a program to suit each student. She likes watching students grow musically and enjoy the music they are playing, and is happy to help students prepare for performances, recitals, and RCM exams. Connie believes that everyone can benefit from the study of music and the opportunity for expression that it gives.

Demetrio Navarro

  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Monday and Tuesday online only.
  • Available Wednesday and Thursday in person.

Demetrio Navarro is a Calgary-based singer, pianist, songwriter and producer. He has directed and arranged music for numerous choirs and bands, including The Caribbees Singers, The Calgary Scandinavian Centre Choir, and senior choir at Canadian Martyrs Church. He currently plays in the jazz group dzpc*, in the well-known cover group the Dino Martinis, and leads contemporary worship teams at two churches. He regularly plays at weddings, funerals, and specialty events as a solo artist or with other instrumentalists. He has written over 150 songs, co-written songs with other artists, and has produced dozens of albums and singles for local talent at his recording studio, NavarroLand Music.

He began his musical life on flute but found his true instrument in the piano. While playing in a wedding band and as vocal class accompanist in high school, he discovered a knack for supporting and arranging for vocalists, at which he actively continues to refine.

Erin Navarro

  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches piano and voice.
  • Available Tuesday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Erin grew up pursuing both piano and voice since she was a kid. She has been teaching at Studio 9 since September 2019 and enjoys seeing her students grow in confidence and musical ability. She has performed in many festivals, concerts and theatre productions. Erin loves to work with kids and youth, as she has a passion for them to become confident young people. She is able to adapt to the student’s needs and goals, as she believes that everyone learns in their own unique way. 

Karen Burkell

  • Has been teaching since 2010.
  • With Studio Nine since 2010.
  • Teaches piano and music theory.
  • Available Monday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Karen is currently working towards her grade 10 practical exam with the Royal Conservatory of Music and has completed her grade 10 History and Harmony. Karen’s skills and knowledge of theory makes her a perfect choice for intermediate students preparing for RCM exams. 

Additionally, Karen holds a degree in Elementary Education and also works as a school teacher. This is her 10th year as a teacher with Studio Nine and has been a joy to the team.

Margo MacDonnel

  • Has been teaching for over 27 years.
  • With Studio Nine Since 2006.*
  • Teaches piano and music theory.
  • Available Saturday mornings.
  • Available online or in person.

Margo started teaching piano when she completed her Bachelor of Music in 1985.  She has been teaching with Studio 9 School of Music for 27 years and in that time has also taught the Music for Young Children, Yamaha, and Safari preschool group music programs. She teaches all ages, all grades of piano and theory in the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum, and popular, jazz, and classical music outside the RCM program. She has maintained her passion for teaching and loves to challenge her students to achieve their musical goals.

Working with students, young and old is what Margo enjoys, and she takes great joy in opening the musical door for her students. She believes that having music in one’s life adds fun and optimism.

Pauline Dudus

  • With Studio Nine since 2013.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Monday-Thursday.
  • Available online only at this time.

Pauline started playing piano at age 5, and picked up singing a year later. From the time she started school she was doing recitals, competitions, and other festivals. Pauline did band and choir from grade 7-12. Her teaching career also started while she was in high school.

In university Pauline took piano and concert choir for all four years. While in choir she learned how to sing a capella, as well as harmonize with several different voice ranges. She graduated with BSC in Pure Mathematics.

When her kids were young Pauline volunteered with many different local choirs. Her efforts shifted from choir to band when her kids joined their school programs.

Pauline is a cheerful teacher who thoroughly enjoys her teaching career. She enjoys teaching students of all ages, and ensures that all students get familiar with piano theory and proper posture while playing. Pauline has been a teacher with Studio Nine since 2013 and continues to be a great asset to our team. Pauline would be a great choice for both beginner and experienced students.

Tanya Zamonsky

  • Has been teaching for over 23 years.
  • With Studio Nine since 2017.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Monday and Tuesday.
  • Available online only at this time.

Music has been in Tanya’s life since the age of 7. She began teaching piano while taking many Royal Conservatory examinations. Wanting to continue her education, she attended Capilano College and the University of Calgary to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Piano is her main instrument, with a minor in violin and voice.

Tanya has been teaching students for the last 23 years, teaching countless students from the age of 5 to adult. Sharing the love of music has been a great joy! She takes pride in giving students tips and tools to help them achieve their music goals, while still having fun!

After facing challenges teaching students so young, she came across the Music For Young Children group program and found this was a great way to share the love of music. From there she progressed into teaching the Safari group program which captivates children with unique beats, and rhythms from around the world. Your child will be moving and grooving in no time, while learning with today’s progressive technology. Teaching students in a group setting, allows students to develop a solid foundation, all while having fun! Tanya has come to love this way of teaching and looks forward to meeting and sharing this with many families!

Qualifications:

Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music

Theory – completed all co requisites for grade 10.(harmony, history, counterpoint and composition)

Bachelor of Fine Arts (major in music)

Yelena Yermolayeva

  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Monday and Friday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Yelena started doing Royal Conservatory when she was 6 years old. After high school she was accepted to the University of Calgary for a Bachelor of music, focusing on piano. She has performed at multiple concerts and examinations.

Yelena loves working with children of all ages, and is a bright and engaging teacher. She is bilingual in Russian and English. 

Aaron Lowen

  • Studio Nine Musical Director.
  • Teaches guitar and piano.
  • Available Thursday evenings.
  • Available online or in person.

David Dallas

  • Has been teaching since 2018.
  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches guitar, piano, and ukulele.
  • Available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

David Dallas has been playing guitar for over 16 years, and has been steadily building a name for himself as one of the top up-and-coming guitarists in Alberta. David completed his music degree in 2018 for MacEwan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Performance with Distinction after studying with the likes of Jim Head, Tom Van Seters, and Chandelle Rimmer. A native Calgarian, David has spent most of his music career playing in the city he grew up in, as well as the provinces’ capital. He has experience studying and teaching a multitude of genres for guitar, including rock, jazz, blues, country, classical, and folk. David also teaches introductory to intermediate piano. David has also taught drums, and is passionate about teaching music theory in his lessons, as well as ear training. David’s teaching philosophy begins with the appreciation of music in general, with an emphasis on listening to music to understand how music works at its fundamental level. An understanding of time, rhythm, melody, and harmony becomes essential as the student progresses with their learning. Another one of David’s core beliefs with teaching music is the ability to understand the underlying structure of a song as you are listening to it, and how theoretical concepts, such as scales, work with a practical application. The number one goal David has while teaching music, however, is to instruct the student to be able to play all the music they love to listen to, as well as expanding their music library by exposing them to artists they may never have listened to before. In addition to teaching, David is also a seasoned performer. He has also performed in a variety of clubs, bars, and festivals around Alberta and in British Columbia.

Mike Crosby

  • With Studio Nine since 2010.
  • Teaches guitar, piano, and voice.
  • Available Monday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Mike has been teaching piano, guitar, and voice with Studio Nine since the fall of 2010. He began playing music at the age of 6, and has been playing for over 25 years. While he only teaches three instruments, he can also play trumpet, trombone, euphonium, bass guitar, and drums. Mike studied voice at the University of Alberta, and has a Diploma in Radio Broadcasting from SAIT. While in university he played with a rock cover band called Stash, and together they toured Alberta. He also had the opportunity to sing Mozart’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall.

Mike is a warm, and versatile musician, and would be an excellent choice for students of all ages and skill levels.

Roland Griffith

  • Has been teaching for over 20 years.
  • With Studio Nine since 2006.*
  • Teaches piano and drums.
  • Available Tuesday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Roland is an incredibly talented musician who has been teaching music for over 20 years, and playing for many more. He holds a Diploma in Music Performance, and teaches piano and drums. He was part of a trio who played on cruise ships, and has toured across Canada with a variety of bands.

Fatima Maldonado

  • Has been teaching since 2014.
  • With Studio Nine since 2018.
  • Teaches piano.
  • Available Thursday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Fatima Maldonado is a Venezuelan pianist. At the age of 7 she started her musical studies in the Juan Manuel Olivares Music Conservatory. She completed the Music Theory and Technical Skills program at the academy then took additional music training in solfege, as well as music history, choral practice, and composition. She has also played in distinguished theaters in Venezuela, performing well-known musical pieces from composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Clementi, and Bach.

Fatima started her teaching career in 2014. She has taught students from the very young age of 4 years old. She is currently furthering her music studies at the University of Calgary. Her goal is to serve as an inspiration for young pianists and ultimately hopes to enrich the world through music.

Kaitlyn Southgate

  • With Studio Nine since 2009.
  • Teaches piano and guitar.
  • Available Monday and Sunday.
  • Available online or in person.

Kaitlyn Southgate is a pianist, guitarist, vocalist, and Music Therapist originally from Okotoks. She fell in love with music at a young age listening to her grandmother play the organ and teaching her bits of music here and there. Her formal music training began with classical piano and soon expanded to include guitar and other instruments, exploring music of all genres! This love of music brought her to study Music Therapy at Acadia University, where she continued to develop her musical skills and learn of the incredible impact music can have on our lives.

Kaitlyn loves teaching students with a variety of musical experience and is happy teaching music of all genres – classical, pop, punk, the list goes on!

Katrina Jordan

  • Has been with Studio Nine since 2012.
  • Teaches piano and guitar.
  • Available Thursday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Katrina began her piano studies with Music for Young Children (MYC). After graduating from the MYC program she continued with private studies, working her way through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has completed her grade 8 RCM piano examination with First Class Honours and is currently working towards her grade 9 and her Harmony and History examinations. Katrina holds certificates in theory including Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Rudiments.

Katrina has played in and accompanied for several school bands, and has also competed in the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival, playing in the Yaminda Classical Guitar Quartet, where she received a first place award.

Katrina is an enthusiastic and caring teacher who uses positive reinforcement to encourage and aid in the development of her students. She enjoys working with all age groups and is particularly good with younger children. Katrina uses games as educational tools for learning music and music theory, creating a fun environment. She loves teaching classical and popular music styles, and also enjoys composing music while encouraging students to explore their own musical creativity.

Voice

Loree MacDonald

  • With Studio Nine since 2017.
  • Teaches voice.
  • Available Tuesday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Loree’s primary instrument is voice although she does play guitar as well. She has 20 years of live experience and currently sings in the Dino Martinis band, writes music, and plays for Six Corners band. Loree believes that singing should be fun and her lessons largely focus on student driven repertoire.She hopes that with her instruction and expertise, her students will gain the confidence needed to be a successful singer.

Mike Crosby

  • Has been teaching since 2010.
  • With Studio Nine since 2012.
  • Teaches guitar, piano, and voice.
  • Available Monday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Mike has been teaching piano, guitar, and voice with Studio Nine since the fall of 2010. He began playing music at the age of 6, and has been playing for over 25 years. While he only teaches three instruments, he can also play trumpet, trombone, euphonium, bass guitar, and drums. Mike studied voice at the University of Alberta, and has a Diploma in Radio Broadcasting from SAIT. While in university he played with a rock cover band called Stash, and together they toured Alberta. He also had the opportunity to sing Mozart’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall.

Mike is a warm, and versatile musician, and would be an excellent choice for students of all ages and skill levels.

Erin Navarro

  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches piano and voice.
  • Available Tuesday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Erin grew up pursuing both piano and voice since she was a kid. She has been teaching at Studio 9 since September 2019 and enjoys seeing her students grow in confidence and musical ability. She has performed in many festivals, concerts and theatre productions. Erin loves to work with kids and youth, as she has a passion for them to become confident young people. She is able to adapt to the student’s needs and goals, as she believes that everyone learns in their own unique way. 

Drums

Ken Murdoch

  • Has been teaching since 2001.
  • With Studio Nine since 2006.*
  • Teaches drums and guitar.
  • Available Monday and Tuesday.
  • Available online or in person.

Ken has over 23 years of performance experience in a variety of genres. He was a band member of ‘Trio Romanza’ and has performed as a drummer/guitarist/singer with rock bands such as ‘Left Sun’ and ‘Electric Kool-Aid’ as well as occasionally moonlighting with popular Calgary cover bands such as ‘Groove Demons’ and ‘The Raynmen’. As a player Ken is most known for being a founding member of Calgary based indie metal/progressive rock band ‘Outlaws of Ravenhurst,’ as well as being a former member of popular Calgary indie rock group ‘Crystal Eyes’. He has appeared on multiple records and has played hundreds of live shows showcasing his talents as an all round musician. Ken also works as an experienced freelance recording engineer, producer, and session musician, mainly working with solo artists and bands as well as doing commercial work.

As an experienced music teacher with almost 19 years teaching experience, Ken enjoys the interaction with students that allows both student and teacher to learn, grow, and develop as musicians. Ken tries to instill his love of music in his students to help them

 to reach their full potential. In lessons, he uses popular music as educational tools. Classic and modern Rock repertoire are a favorite of his as they teach students current and classic rock and pop songs, encouraging them to practice their skills at home. Not

 just limited to rock/pop music, he is also an experienced jazz drummer and classical percussionist, and often will incorporate these styles into his teaching. Ken also likes to accompany students at recitals and concerts. This helps them feel less nervous and allows them to learn to play with another instrument, which assists their rhythm and listening skills.

Alex Olesen

  • Has been teaching since 2019.
  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches drums.
  • Available Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Available online or in person.

Alex is a versatile and talented teacher, who has been with Studio Nine since 2019. He graduated from the Alberta Academy of Recording Arts with a degree in Sound Engineering. Alex is incredibly adaptable and loves to teach using all genres of music. He likes to incorporate theory work into popular repertoire, showing how the concepts create the songs we all know and love.

Afo Fapojuwo

  • Has been teaching since 2016.
  • With Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches drums.
  • Available Friday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Afo holds a Jazz Diploma from Mount Royal University and a Jazz Performance Degree majoring in Jazz Percussion from the prestigious McGill University. His performance experience includes touring with musical groups across Canada and the United States, performing at internationally renowned festivals such as the Montreal Jazz festival as well as the Osheaga Music Festival, and recording drumming tracks on multiple albums.  With 15+ years of playing experience and 6 years of intense musical schooling it comes as no surprise that Afo is just as skilled a teacher as he is a performer.  Upon returning to Calgary, Afo has managed to maintain a busy schedule of playing and teaching drums to students of all ages and skill levels.

Roland Griffith

  • Has been teaching for over 20 years.
  • With Studio Nine since 2006.*
  • Teaches piano and drums.
  • Available Tuesday nights.
  • Available online or in person.

Roland is an incredibly talented musician who has been teaching music for over 20 years, and playing for many more. He holds a Diploma in Music Performance, and teaches piano and drums. He was part of a trio who played on cruise ships, and has toured across Canada with a variety of bands.

Adam Hwang

  • Has been teaching since 2010.
  • With Studio Nine since 2012.
  • Teaches guitar and drums.
  • Available Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings.
  • Available online or in person.

Adams primary instruments are guitar and drums, although he does play piano and bass guitar. He has received his bachelor’s degree and started teaching music in 2010. Adam has chosen to be a music teacher because he enjoys it and feels good about the work he does. He believes students will achieve their goals if they stay open minded and work hard. Adam hopes that all of his students gain more confidence, have fun and develop a love for music while working with him.

Violin

Fran Hampel

  • Has been teaching since 2015.
  • With Studio Nine Since 2015.
  • Teaches violin.
  • Available Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Available online or in person.

Fran studied violin at Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton. Over the years, Fran has played in orchestras in both Edmonton and Calgary and is currently playing with the Calgary Civic Symphony. She has been teaching violin to her 3 children, and started teaching at Studio Nine in 2015.

Dan Zhang

  • Has been teaching since 2015.
  • With Studio Nine since 2015.
  • Teaches violin.
  • Available Saturday mornings.
  • Available online only at this time.

Dan Zhang started teaching at Studio Nine in 2015 and has been an avid violinist for 15 years. He completed his RCM Grade 10 violin with first class honours, his RCM Grade 6 Piano with first class honours with distinction, and holds a degree in biology and music from the University of Calgary. As a student, Dan has competed in a variety of music competitions, including the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly Calgary Kiwanis Festival) and was the 2013 Alberta Gold Medalist, having achieved the highest mark in his grade. In addition, he is an experienced orchestral musician. Dan has played with the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra for 3 years and is the principal 2nd violinist of the University of Calgary Orchestra.

In his lessons, Dan emphasizes technical consistency while fine-tuning musicianship and performance skills. He is a firm believer that a strong foundation allows for greater enjoyment of the violin and loves working with parents alongside their students. Dan pulls from his own experience as a student of violin in order to personalize and design each lesson specifically for the needs of his students. His ultimate goal is to instill a sense of the enrichment music can have on lives while working to ensure that the student’s personal goals are realized.

Although classically trained, Dan has no objection to exploring a variety of music styles from various backgrounds and histories. Once the basics of the instrument have been established, he is more than happy to delve into new music with students.

Aside from music, Dan dabbles in molecular biology. He is currently an NSERC funded Master’s student working in a stem cell lab and has presented his research at various symposiums, including the 22nd International C. elegans Conference at UCLA in Los Angeles. His hobbies include theatre, hiking, and science.

Brass & Woodwinds

Lauren Wilson

  • Has been with Studio Nine since 2019.
  • Teaches french horn, trumpet, and theory.
  • Available Monday and Thursday.
  • Available online only at this time.

Lauren is a cheerful, experienced member of our teaching staff. She has been playing french horn for 10 years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Calgary. Lauren also serves on the Board of Directors for Neworks Calgary, a society that promotes and presents new compositions from emerging and established composers.

While Lauren primarily teaches brass basics with us, she’s also qualified to teach music theory and tonal harmony.

Georgia Voncina

  • Has been with Studio Nine since 2020.
  • Teaches flute.
  • Available Thursday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Georgia is one of our newest teachers with 12 years of experience on flute. She was part of the Western Canada High School band program and flute ensemble, and was a member of the Mount Royal Chamber Flutes directed by Lucie Jones. She is also an alumni of the Calgary Stetson Showband, and is in her 4th year as a member of the Calgary Stampede Showband. Georgia played piccolo in junior high and high school, and also has experience with alto and bass flute during her time with various ensembles.

High school presented Georgia with the opportunity to grow her leadership and teaching skills when she served on the executive leadership team in grades 11 and 12. This naturally transitioned into serving as a representative for the Stampede Showband Band Council for her first two years in the band, as well as being flute section leader for two years in a row.

Outside of music Georgia has finished her 3rd year of mechanical engineering at the University of Calgary, and has taken on an internship with Atco. She is also an enthusiastic soccer player, she’s been playing for 15 years and is an active member of a division 2 women’s league.

Georgia is a bright and confident musician and teacher, with a passion for connecting with students and sharing her love of music. She’s detail oriented, and likes to focus on tone and posture. She would be a wonderful teacher for students of all ages and skill levels, and we’re excited to have her on the team!

Melvin Picazo

  • Has been with Studio Nine since 2020.
  • Teaches clarinet and saxophone.
  • Available Wednesday nights.
  • Available online only at this time.

Born in Montreal and raised in Calgary, Melvin has been an active saxophone player since the age of 12. An avid and aspiring performer, Melvin is currently working towards a Bachelor’s of Music in Saxophone Performance at the University of Calgary under Dr. Jeremy Brown.

At the age of 11, Melvin started playing saxophone in junior high and high school concert and jazz bands. More recently, he has worked and performed with the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra and the University of Calgary Saxophone Ensemble and Quartet. Notable performances include recording a live studio album with Calgary-based band Long Time No Time and the UofC Jazz Orchestra and world premiering several Canadian works with the UofC Sax Ensemble at the 2020 Biennial North American Saxophone Alliance Conference. As a soloist, Melvin has also performed at the 2019 Region IX North American Saxophone Alliance Conference and the Red Carpet Series held in Calgary.

Excelling in academics, Melvin has received numerous awards and scholarships from the University of Calgary and was also granted admission with scholarship to the Advanced Placement Program and the Mount Royal Conservatory. He has also had the privilege to participate in masterclasses  and collaborate with renowned saxophone pedagogues such as Ken Radnofsky, Gordon Towell, Marie Chantal-Leclair, Timothy McAllister, and Brian Scanlon.

As a teacher, he is passionate about pushing students to the best of their ability but also making sure that the students themselves are engaged and having fun with the music that they make. He hopes to inspire his students to find and appreciate music and music making whenever and wherever they can.